Elizabeth I died childless; she was the last of Henry VIII's descendants. Under the will of Henry VIII, the crown was to go his children and their heirs, or, failing that, to the descendants of his sister Mary, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk. Thus the legal heir was Lady Anne Stanley. Lord Beauchamp, a more senior claimant, was considered illegitimate because of his parent's marriage.However, James VI of Scotland (senior line great-grandchild of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII's elder sister) was the only practical candidate. Thanks mainly to Robert Cecil, James ascended the throne with virtually no fuss, and founded the Stuarts.
Since Elizabeth I didn't have any heirs, the crown passed a decendent of Henry VII's eldest daughter, Margaret Tudor. Margaret married James IV, king of Scotland, whose family name was Stuart/Stewart. There were other people who might have also been able to succeed Elizabeth without going to the Scottish line, but James seems to have been treated as the logical successor.
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